As john of MT says, it's both IMV.[br][br]I see no point in being proficient at playing chords or notes if one doesn't apply the proficiency pragmatically. [br][br]For a myriad of reasons, playing songs should be a part of one's curriculum from the outset as soon as one knows a couple of open chords and has changing between them under one's belt. There are a zillion instantly recognisable songs which can be played as a rhythm part using just three chords, and more than a few with just two. e.g. "Horse With No Name". Any of these cement so many key aspects of rhythm playing in the process. [br][br]I'd suggest a two pronged approach to learning songs until you find your way (the method which works best for you).[br][br] From a selection of songs you like, start by selecting at least one which is easily within your current competency, and another which challenges you outside your comfort zone, but not so far so that it will present an unachievable short term goal nor pushes your personal frustration boundry to the point you'll abandon it when confronted by the requirement for persistent repeticious input of effort to see the reward.[br][br]Ref the second, select the parts you want to play, and start with the most recognisably obvious and easiest, generally i.e. rhythm. [br][br]Start and stick at it until you can play the song complete. Once you've got that down, keep make it a part of your practice repertoire and continue to polish everything about it. i.e. tempo, strum pattern nuance, commiting it to memory until it's literally rote etc.[br][br]In the interim, rinse and repeat for the other guitar parts of the song, lead solo/bridge and/or second rhythm as desired.